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Using COCONUT OIL as an Alternative to Vegetable Shortening?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Has anyone used solid coconut oil as an alternative to vegetable shortening in pie crusts? How were the results?
post #2 of 22

Patel Brothers in Hicksville

I have seen the coconut oil in jars at the local Patel Brothers grocery store.
If I go today I will pick some up and start experimenting.

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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #3 of 22
I've been thinking about doing the same thing. Let us know how the experiments go. :)
post #4 of 22
Thats a very interesting concept, I know I never thought about it. Commercially I wouldn't think it viable due to the cost increase of Coconut oil vs Veg. oil, but texturally and flavorwise I would think it would be interesting. I definitely am curious as to the results. Make sure you post them! (Please...:) )
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #5 of 22
Healthwise it sounds much better than shortening, which is why I had considered it. Chrose, after your comment, I'm looking forward even more to the results of the experiments.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi there. Hope to get around to making an apple pie tomorrow, using whole spelt flour and coconut oil. The coconut oil is supposed to be extremely healthy, contrary to what we've been led to believe for years, which is why I want to use it. It's certainly healthier than hydrogenated vegetable shortening or butter.

It also smells heavenly and tastes faintly of coconut. According to the jar, it's also useful as a moisturizer.

I'll let you know how the pie crust turns out.
post #7 of 22
Yes I LOVE coconut oil in place of all other oils! I made brownies and used coconut oil instead of vegetable and they turned out DELICIOUS! They did have a slight coconut taste but it mixed well with the chocolate. I even sautee veggies in coconut oil since it is the most heat stable oil! When buying coconut oil be sure it is organic, virgin, and has NO hydrogenated oils added to it...that is why coconut oil had a bad rap for so long they were adding hydrogenated oil to it!

I also use coconut milk instead of milk for smoothies and delicious chocolate shakes. Use unroasted, unsweetened cocoa powder...it has flavanols that protect your body from cancer! & sweeten with sweetleaf stevia:)

*Coconuts form of saturated fat actually helps prevent heart disease, stroke and hardening of the arteries. Unlike other oils & fats, coconut oil contains a large amount of the fatty acid known as Lauric acid, which is the predominant fatty acid found in mother's milk. The Lauric acid makes breast milk easily digestible, it strengthens the immune system and protects against viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Studies have shown coconut oil's effectiveness with HIV, SARS, Crohn's Disease, as well as other chronic illnesses. It detoxifies the liver, helps build lipoproteins, fats and hormones and bile, which is necessary for digestion. Coconuts amazing healing properties are also attributed to reducing the risk of other degenerative conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes. The medium chain fatty acids help to create a healthy digestive tract, which in turn allows for better digestion and absorption of the nutrients in our foods. They also speed up metabolism providing an immediate source of energy while supplying fewer calories than other fats. It is the oil of choice for dieters and for hypothyroidism. Coconut oil helps protect against skin cancer and other blemishes and helps prevent premature aging and wrinkling. As a cooking oil, it is highly resistant to heat and spoilage. In fact, coconut oil has been called "the healthiest dietary oil on earth".
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Coconut Oil in Pie Crust - Results transferred from other thread

ORIGINAL POSTING IN OTHER THREAD DATED OCT. 14/06:

I made an apple pie using whole spelt flour, and coconut oil as the sole fat in the crust. The coconut oil has a similar consistency to vegetable shortening and the dough was easy to work with. For the filling I used two-thirds Granny Smith apples and one-third Macintosh (I like an apple pie with some mushiness inside), some lemon juice, arrowroot flour, cinnamon, and erythritol instead of sugar (I'm diabetic).

I'm very happy with the results. The crust is flaky, albeit lacking the buttery flavour of a butter crust, and somewhat nutty due to the spelt flour. There is a slight coconut flavour to the crust, which I find appealing, especially with the spelt. The mouthfeel is great - no oily film on the roof of the mouth after eating, thank goodness.

So, I ended up with quite a healthy apple pie - whole grains, heart-healthy fat, apples (all organic ingredients, by the way), and not an ounce of sugar. Erythritol, by the way, is a naturally-sourced polyol that, unlike xylitol, has no laxative effect and is safe for dogs (xylitol is toxic to dogs).

One bit of advice for those of you planning to work with coconut oil: I used an unrefined extra virgin oil and made the mistake of refrigerating it prior to use (with pie crusts, the colder the better, right?). Well, when I took it out of the fridge it was rock hard and unusable until it thawed out. Just leave it at room temperature; it needs no refrigeration.
post #9 of 22
a coconut oil pie crust? interesting!

I'll have to keep it in mind.

I do have some coconut oil on hand, that I occasional use for vegetables. But I also use it for popcorn...yum!

dan
post #10 of 22
OMG, I absolutely love coconut oil. It is healthy too. If you look at the peoples who use coconut oil almost exclusively they are in great health.

Anyways..

It tastes absolutely fabulous. here are some suggestions.

have had success using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or shortening by substituting as follows: To substitute for vegetable oil, use the amount of oil called for in the recipe, melt the coconut oil and be sure that the other ingredients (eggs, liquids, etc.) are at room temperature or at least warm enough so that they do not cool the coconut oil enough to make it solidify.
To substitute for shortening, I use a combination 1/2 butter and 1/2 coconut oil. (Actually the amount of coconut oil can be reduced by about 25%, so in a recipe calling for 1 cup of shortening I would use 1/2 cup butter and 3/8 cup of coconut oil. If you want to use all coconut oil 3/4 cup of coconut oil should work as a substitute for 1 cup of shortening.)
As I have indicated above, I am a great proponent of measuring ingredients by weight rather than volume. Measurements which could be tedious if measured by volume become simple when measured by weight. You will also find that your results are more consistent.
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post #11 of 22
Still have the coconut oil on the shelf.
Will try someday....
Glad to hear of your success!:bounce:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
post #12 of 22
the Food and Drug Administration has informed consumers to avoid coconut oil, a saturated fat. (The American Medical Association agrees that saturated fats should be limited in our diets.) Evidence in favor of coconut oil has not yet met the FDA’s standards for recommendation; studies are regarded as either inadequately controlled or not extensive enough to be conclusive.
post #13 of 22
Yes, and the FDA approves of hydrogenated oils. Remember where the FDA gets its moolah.
post #14 of 22

a tiny amount goes a long way!!!

I have been using my coconut oil when roasting veggies.
like 1/2 tsp per pound.
so rich, I could not imagine using it as the sole shortening in a pie.
(not that it can't be done):bounce:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
post #15 of 22
So true and how about all the prescription drugs the FDA approved that ended up causing liver damage and even death! I don't count on approval from the FDA, I count on using preventative health practices and eat whole fresh foods without all the additives the FDA approved for consumption like artificial colors, preservatives, hydrogenated oils etc. who needs all those synthetic chemicals... not my body....also when buying coconut oil make sure it is organic if possible, cold pressed so it hasn't been heated and had all the good stuff cooked out of it & that it doesn't have any hydrogenated oils..the clearer the purer and the better!


*Coconuts form of saturated fat actually helps prevent heart disease, stroke and hardening of the arteries. Unlike other oils & fats, coconut oil contains a large amount of the fatty acid known as Lauric acid, which is the predominant fatty acid found in mother's milk. The Lauric acid makes breast milk easily digestible, it strengthens the immune system and protects against viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Studies have shown coconut oil's effectiveness with HIV, SARS, Crohn's Disease, as well as other chronic illnesses. It detoxifies the liver, helps build lipoproteins, fats and hormones and bile, which is necessary for digestion. Coconuts amazing healing properties are also attributed to reducing the risk of other degenerative conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes. The medium chain fatty acids help to create a healthy digestive tract, which in turn allows for better digestion and absorption of the nutrients in our foods. They also speed up metabolism providing an immediate source of energy while supplying fewer calories than other fats. It is the oil of choice for dieters and for hypothyroidism. Coconut oil helps protect against skin cancer and other blemishes and helps prevent premature aging and wrinkling. As a cooking oil, it is highly resistant to heat and spoilage. In fact, coconut oil has been called "the healthiest dietary oil on earth".
post #16 of 22
Oh for heaven's sakes!! Now we have to cook with the fda's permission:confused:!! Scary! Nothing is wrong with coconut oil as long as it is as pure as can be... I use mothernature.com to order my different organic indredients as that is not a big thing here yet!!
post #17 of 22
I was very skeptical about using Stevia. I refuse to use artificial sweeteners and was searching for a healthier, natural alternative to sugar. I have researched Stevia and apparently Stevia-based sweeteners have been used in Japan since the 1970s – ever since that country banned artificial sweeteners. To this date, after being used by tens of millions of people for more than 40 years, there has not been a single consumer complaint about Stevia.

I have been using the Sweetleaf brand for several months now and absolutely love it! You can now purchase it at any Whole Foods store.

SweetLeaf can be used in hot drinks, cold drinks, is great on cereal, brings out the delicious flavors in fruits, can be used in cooking and baking, makes great-tasting desserts and is incredible in smoothies and blended drinks.

This is my favorite Stevia recipe. Enjoy!

Apple Crisp
8 servings

Ingredients
- 7 to 8 cups chopped apples (peeling is optional)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp SweetLeaf Stevia Extract Powder
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 3 tbsp natural peanut butter (optional)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup apple juice or blend

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13" baking dish. Place the apples in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon juice. Mix the vanilla, Stevia extract, flour, peanut butter (if using), cinnamon, and salt into the apples. Pour the fruit juice into the bottom of the dish. Spoon in the apple mixture. Spread the topping (recipe below) over the apples so it is evenly distributed. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. If the topping gets done before the apples, cover pan with foil the last 15 minutes of baking.

Topping


Ingredients
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2/3 cup chopped nuts and seeds
- 1/4 tsp SweetLeaf Stevia Extract Powder
- 3/4 tsp SweetLeaf Stevia Concentrate
- 2 tablespoons oil

Mix the oats, chopped nuts and seeds, Stevia extract, and Stevia concentrate together in a bowl. Sprinkle and stir in the oil.

(Excerpted with permission from "Stevia: naturally sweet recipes for desserts, drinks and more!" by Rita DePuydt - Book Publishing Co.)
post #18 of 22
I too have replaced any recipe that calls for butter or shortening with coconut oil with great results. Yes, it has a slight coconut taste but it's so delicious that it just adds to the yumminess. Not to mention knowing that I'm not killing myself and my family. Coconut oil soothes the digestive system and metabolizes quickly, and is naturally trans fat free.

Some say that they've lost weight by eating a tablespoon of coconut oil a day. I'm all about eating delcious food but looking great too.
post #19 of 22

The FDA doesn't approve of coconut oil because it would make America healthy and we can't have that. I do not like the taste of coconut oil but I am using right now. I am learning how to cook gluten free. Actually, I am learning how to cook period. I have done it for years but never enjoyed it. I am hoping to learn to love cooking as much as I love to eat.

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gail@Flavours View Post

Has anyone used solid coconut oil as an alternative to vegetable shortening in pie crusts? How were the results?

 

I never tried using it but I know a chef who successfully used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or shortening. It's a good alternative to Butter and Shortening for Pie Crusts. Contrary to what we've been led to believe for years, coconut oil is extremely heart-healthy. Because it looks like semi-solid vegetable shortening, it's been lumped together with unhealthy hydrogenated fats.

 

Just be sure to buy coconut oil in its virgin state, not hydrogenated coconut oil. In its virgin state it is semi-solid, smelling faintly of coconut (and can be used as a moisturizer). It's usually sold in screw-top shallow jars and requires no refrigeration. It doesn't get rancid and has an extended shelf life.

 

According to him, he used coconut oil very successfully in pie crusts instead of butter of shortening. The crust does have a slight coconut-y flavour, but he, for one, find this appealing and he only bought it at the natural foods stores.

post #21 of 22

@dpauley49 .... Ahhh, gluten free, the newest fad.... I work at a private all boys high school, and that seems to be coming up more and more with the students. After first it was a huge hassle, but the more I have been learning about it, the easier it is becoming. Though, I have to admit some of the bread and the have had to bring in is just awful tasting to me... I think that will be the next thing, to learn to make gluten free bread... it has to taste better fresh, than some of the stuff I have bought,

post #22 of 22

Been there, done that!

 

when I make a standard pie crust I use 1/3 unsalted butter and 2/3 lard.  I substitute the lard with coconut oil.  For best results, measure ingredients using weight, as proposed by @AllisonTwitt

also, as I do with the lard and butter, I freeze the coconut oil overnight then with the pulse action of my food processor I cut the fat into the flour mixture to the desired texture and add my water to form dough.

 

Coconut oil is less (hydrogenated) hard than lard so it tends to melt more easily into the flour.  Freezing the fat gives you more time to cut it into the flour before it melts.  Refrigerate the dough before forming/rolling.  I also suggest to freeze the lined pie plate and freeze the rolled cover flat on a cookie sheet with wax paper.  To prep pie, remove frozen pie shell, add filling, cut design out of the frozen top dough (see avatar), place over pie, wait until is softens enough to crimp edges. Bake high to start (450F for 10min) so that the fat melts quickly and explodes the flakes. Then bake at moderate high until desired time for doneness.

 

Coconut oil is composed of MCT or medium chain triglycerides that are more easily metabolized and very healthy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium-chain_triglyceride

 

 

Luc H

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